Around August the 21st I opened twitter and saw this on my feed:
So, I clicked it to find out what it was. It took me to a page on thebookseller.com which detailed, weirdly enough, that Twenty7 Books were holding a 27 day submissions periods. This meant that writers who had no agents could potentially get published through this, which is pretty unheard of now, the websites of most publishers will state that they do not accept unsolicited submissions.
I had never heard of Twenty7 so I did some digging and link-hopping. They seemed to be a solely online company and that sent alarm bells ringing for me. I was brought up in the switching age, where everything was still written by hand but then we were slowly being turned to computers. The age where we’d spent our primary years being told to make our hand writing as neat as possible and then in high school told it doesn’t matter because we’d be typing it up anyway. And that’s fine, it’s not like I’m exactly anti-tech, before we had the internet I used to spend hours playing with PowerPoint on the computer and making random presentations. Currently I have my laptop on, my iPod touch and my phone. The tablet is around here somewhere.
But I still prefer paper. Although I read a lot of online stories I will always buy my books in paperback. Except that one audiobook version of Kevin Bridges’ autobiography I have, but I have the hardback too… It’s a long story, don’t ask.
Anyway, so the thought of a company solely online worried me, I like a face to talk to, someone solid to run to when everything goes tits up, as it often does with me. But, I like to be able to sit down and say, “I don’t understand that” and have it explained to me, face to face, in real time. And, I don’t understand things a lot.
But then I thought, okay, I won’t win anything, there is too many great authors out there, you’re nowhere near ready to go anywhere near them… BUT… what about the others who have the chance to receive guidance, to have someone nudge them. What about that?
Cue the many nights biting my fingernails and trying not to freak out followed by the “I’m in the middle of writing, I can’t go back to one of my older ones right now, I’ll wait until I’m finished” excuses. I mean, the story I’m referring to is a fanfiction that I’ve been working on for months, haven’t even got to the end of the first draft yet and I’ve passed a quarter of a million words. The story ends around June/July 2016 and I was on August 2015. You wouldn’t think that would mean many more pages to go but it will. I certainly wasn’t going to finish it before the submissions ended on the 27th of September. Hell, I’m not even finished it now, I’m only in October.
I was kidding myself, making excuses and, in the end, I thought, if I thought my writing was up to scratch, I would be nervous but certain. And I wasn’t. I’m still not. Every day I question what the hell I’m even thinking but then I pick up my pen and keep on writing.
So, I chickened out this time. Maybe they’ll be a next time. Maybe there won’t be. Either way I’m still writing. Nothing’s going to change that.